Crock Pot Favorites
    Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

    Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

    What a great appetizer or lunch. The sausage, beans and garlic make a perfect stew. Served with cheese toast, this makes a great dish to serve to guests. Even with the bread, this dish comes in under 400 calories !! 6 servings 350 calories per serving 2 t oil 3 ...

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    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    This is so tasty – it’s something I have made many times and everyone who eats it is always delighted with the great heartiness and warmth. Beings this is a crock pot recipe, you can start this one before work, come home, drop in the noodles and in ...

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    Chinese Pulled Pork

    Chinese Pulled Pork (Crock Pot)

    This recipe was really interesting. Usually when you think of pulled pork, you expect a spicy Southwest flavor. But this one has an awesome Chinese sauce that is mellow and mild and is perfect with pulled pork. 8 servings 227 calories per serving 1/4 c soy sauce 1/4 c ...

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    Get the ’400 Calories or Less’ App and eBooks now !

    Get the '400 Calories or Less' App and eBooks now !

    I'm so very pleased to announce the 400 Calorie or Less App and eBooks ! The eBooks are now available for the Nook and the Kindle. There are 4 eBooks and they each host 40+ recipes to help you lose weight while eating the foods you love and ...

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    Easy Pork Carnitas

    Easy Pork Carnitas

    This is another great authentic recipe that cooks all day in the crock pot - it turns out a fantastically tender and juicy meat that is easily shredded and tastes great with a bit of lime and avocado. 4 servings 208 calories per serving 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground ...

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    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    This is one of the most awesome chili recipes I have ever made ! The depth of flavor was amazing. This is a truly authentic, rich, aromatic and spicy chili that is just plain PERFECT. Don’t forget the squirt of lime just before serving – it actually ...

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    Chicken Tortellini Stew (Crock Pot)

    Chicken Tortellini Stew (Crock Pot)

    This is a soupy stew or a thick soup :) Whatever it is, it's absolutely delicious. The sweet fennel adds just the little something different that makes this meal one of a kind. 6 servings 380 calories per serving 2 carrots, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut ...

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    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    Even traditional lasagna lovers like this one - and it is nice and easy to do. Start it at lunch time and have dinner ready 4 hours later. Take a look at my video below for instructions on how to layer it in your crock. 8 servings 275 calories per ...

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    December 28th, 2009adminSides, Vegetables

    This recipe makes oft boring broccoli taste much more special, but only take a few minutes to whip up. Add more lemon and garlic if you want it zestier…it adds basically no extra calories.

    broccoli with lemon

    Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic

    4 servings
    96 calories per serving

    6 cups broccoli florets
    1 t oil
    2 t minced garlic
    1 lemon, cut into slices
    2 t lemon juice
    1 t buttery spread
    Salt and pepper
    1 T grated lemon peel

    Fill 3 quart saucepan ¾ with water and bring to boil. Add broccoli florets and lemon slices. Keep at a low boil and cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on how crispy or soft you like the broccoli.

    While the broccoli is cooking on low heat sauté the garlic in the onion and lemon juice. When soft, add butter to melt and set aside.

    Drain the broccoli. Stir in the garlic mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the grated lemon peel over the top and serve immediately.

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    December 24th, 2009adminSnacks

    I have a set of ‘GO TO’ snacks so that when I am hungry, I don’t dig into something that will tip the calorie scale for the day. Make a list, keep them around the house, keep them front and center on your snack shelves !

    Almonds – raw, unsalted – - great for also getting in your good fats for the day
    Sunflower seeds – high on the calorie scale but if you eat them individually, you’ll be tired by time you come to the end of 1/4 cup :)
    Low fat string cheese – only 50-70 calories per stick and very satisfying
    Turkey Pepperoni – pair it up with the string cheese !
    Fiber One 50 calorie cups of yogurt
    Pretzels
    Celery sticks – cut them up on Sunday and keep them in a container ready to go all week (dip in Tzatziki) or eat with a Light Laughing Cow cheese
    Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge – only 35 calories – WOW!
    Pop Chips – these AWESOME 100 calorie chips are real potatoes, they are just popped instead of fried or baked. They come in many flavors and you can get them in single serve bags and the come out to less than a dollar a bag

    Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips – eaten a few at a time, a tablespoon or 2 can keep you busy for a while
    Jax (cheese doodles) – lots of curls for 130 calories
    Ricola chewy breath mints – very minty – and after mint, I don’t want anything else for a while
    Coffee – not a snack when it is just coffee, but by the time I am done with flavorings and toppings, it is more like a low cal dessert :) I will get a few of these recipes up soon

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    December 22nd, 2009adminBreakfast, Kid Friendly

    I mix and match this one all week long. Sometimes Canadian bacon slices are substituted, sometimes shredded low fat cheddar, sometimes mushrooms – pretty much anything you would throw into an omelette works well here.

    1 serving
    348 calories per serving

    1 Smart Delicious Wrap (100 calorie version)
    Pam spray
    ½ cup Egg Beaters
    3 slices lean turkey bacon
    1 Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
    2 T salsa
    ¼ c avocado slices
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat the wrap in the microwave for 15 seconds if they have been refrigerated – this helps them to roll better. Cook turkey bacon according to package instructions and set aside. Heat a small frying pan on med high heat. Remove from heat and spray with Pam. Return to heat and add the Egg Beaters to the pan. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Scramble eggs until set.

    Lay the wrap on a plate and spread the cheese evenly over the wrap. Lay the three slices of bacon in the center (be sure to leave a little room at the bottom for folding). Add the eggs in a strip down the center. Spoon the salsa over the eggs. Fold one side over, fold up a bit of the bottom, then fold the other side over to make a wrapped burrito. Serve avocado slices on the side.

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    December 22nd, 2009adminExercise

    What plan for weight loss and good health doesn’t include exercise? Unfortunately, not many ! I used to cringe at the thought of exercising but I now actually look forward to it.

    These walking dvds help me get off my butt and get moving. The moves are not hard and not too repetitive – and the fitness instructors are not too annoying ;) I have interspersed these workouts into my weekly routine for years and they never get boring.

    While they go beyond just walking (like you get with the Leslie Sansone workouts), they are not so hard that you give up quickly. They even have different levels on each dvd and my bad knee can handle up to the middle levels on both.

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    December 22nd, 2009admin400 Calorie Meals - the plan

    Many nutritionists and dieticians recommend eating several small meals throughout the course of the day. It helps to keep your metabolism running and also keeps your body from going into starvation mode which totally defeats any plan (losing weight or weight maintenance).

    I’ve decided that my new LIFESTYLE (not a diet!!) needs to include a meal plan that I can stick with and one that will show me results. Over the past 6 months I have been eating 400 calories or less for each meal (3 main meals and a snack) and seeing great results. I am losing weight and I just plain feel better. I know that in order to maintain a healthy weight, I need to stick with this plan. So I have created recipes and meal plans that ensure I am not feeling hungry all the time and truthfully, I rarely feel deprived (except for when I see people eating multiple slices of pizza when I can only have one – ah, pizza !!) . This plan combats cravings of all sorts because I can eat a little bit of just about anything.

    Now, I could sit and eat 400 calories worth of cheese doodles as a meal (my dear friend told me this actually worked for her at one point in her life), but the better thing to do is make sure you are eating balanced meals.

    I make sure that my day includes proteins (meat, fish, beans), veggies and fruit, high calcium dairy and I could not live without carbs. I now eat whole grain breads and pastas, but they are still in my meals in smaller amounts – I could not live without them.

    I also add in monounsaturated fats (these are the good fats) with several of my meals each day…the theory being that they a: help bad fats retreat from your body and b: they help you feel more satisfied. Examples of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate – - and while high in calories, I do notice that when I skip them to add in extra pasta or bread instead, I don’t see as good weight loss results that week.

    And finally, here are a few things that I have learned along the way:

    Drink lotsa water: I am not good at this – I have to struggle to get down 3 glasses of water a day. I try and entice myself by adding stuff to a pitcher of water and giving it a bit of natural flavor. One day I add lemon or lime slices (orange is nice too). The next I add some sliced fresh ginger. The next I add some spearmint leaves and a few drops of mint extract. If I keep it changed up, I find I am more apt to want a glass.

    Sit and savor your food: Taste each bit that goes into your mouth. Smell it. Look at it. Don’t just woof it down in front of a TV because before you know it, it’s gone and you’re wondering where it went and you are still feeling hungry. I know it sounds corny, but it is sooooooo true !

    Split up the snacks in a different way each day and according to how your body feels: I always try to eat my 3 main meals the same times each day. But my snacks….times change and so does how I split them up. One day I may be hungrier in the mid afternoon and have a 200 calorie snack before I start cooking dinner (so I am not picking while cooking) and then have my other 200 calories in the evening. Some days I have a lighter dinner and then want a heavier snack in the evening. Some days I am dying of hunger at 10 am even though I ate a good breakfast at 8. Be flexible with yourself and divvy up those snacks thoughtfully and they will help you get through the day !

    Cheat day: Everybody needs a cheat day. I plan one in once a week. I have gone hog crazy and eaten wings and several slices of pizza on the same day – and then I end up paying for it. After months of a healthy diet, my body does not know what to do when bombarded with a lot of fat and I end up with stomach distress. So I have learned and now I try and keep it a little more sane. Instead of going crazy, I use my cheat day to have a glass of wine (or 2 or 3) without having to put it into my calorie counter. And since I often go out on cheat day, it is more just a day to give myself a break from cooking, but I try to order sensibly and not stuff myself.

    Eating out: It is very hard to find a place out where you can get a meal that fits into 400 calories. Asian restaurants are a good bet, especially if you stick with fish dishes and stay away from fried egg rolls. You can find calories counts for many chain restaurants and it’s very discouraging. If you’re a restaurateur and want a partner for a ‘healthy food’ restaurant, let me know !! :)

    Count your calories: I use a mobile phone app. A plain old notebook and pencil will do just as well, though ! When you are actively counting your calories, you are much more apt to stay within them. Yes, even that one bite off your kid’s plate has to be accounted for in the log :)

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